Young Canadians can’t afford younger Canadians

Young people hoping to start a family in Canada are taking one look at their grocery bill and saying “maaaaybe a dog?” 

Driving the news: The rising cost of living in Canada has created a quality of life crisis for young people, leading many of them to not have kids, per a new StatCan reportOver a third of young adults don’t think they can afford to have a child in the next three years. 

Why it’s happening:  Factors like mental health and pandemic disruptions have played a role, but housing is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to deciding not to have kids.

  • Young Canadians spend more of their income on housing than any other age group, in a nationwide rental market that has reached record-high prices. 

Why it matters: A declining fertility rate isn't just bad news for aspiring grandparents, it can hurt the economy. In Japan, where almost a third of the population is over 65, the country is struggling to financially support retirees as the percentage of tax-paying workers dwindles.

Yes, but: For years, immigration has helped the working-age population grow, and has accounted for almost all of Canada’s labour force growth. However, it remains to be seen if strong immigration is the answer to the problems that a fast-ageing population brings.—LA